Serena Oh, center, at a debate during the 2016 Langley City byelection. (Langley Advance files)

UPDATED: Byelection lawsuit cost Langley City $27,000

Last-place candidate Serena Oh failed to convince the Supreme Court to hear her case.

Serena Oh’s failed attempt to challenge a Langley City byelection has cost the municipality approximately $27,000.

The Supreme Court of Canada recently declined to hear Oh’s appeal. The City had argued that that Oh’s complaint had no validity.

Oh was one of the defeated candidates in the February, 2016 byelection for a City council seat. Oh had the lowest number of votes out of all nine candidates, with 57 votes. Nathan Pachal, who won the council seat, received 740 of the 2,074 votes cast.

Nevertheless, Oh insisted that she should have won, claiming that she believed at least 1,500 people were planning to vote for her.

Oh represented herself, pushing her challenge through the B.C. Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal before attempting to take it to the top court in the country.

“Most judges, they don’t actually know the law, I find,” Oh told the Langley Advance in 2016 as she began her legal challenge.

READ MORE: Oh byelection claim goes to court

Oh missed the deadline for a judicial recount of the vote.

She claimed that she had support from numerous locals, and said last year that she was gathering signatures from people who claimed to have voted for her.

However, her attempts to overturn the vote were repeatedly rebuffed by judges, who ruled that there was a lack of any evidence of wrongdoing during the election.

“It is difficult to understand where the information is coming from, how Ms. Oh is reaching the conclusions which it appears she has reached by looking at some sort of documentation,” wrote Justice Brenda Brown in her B.C. Supreme Court ruling dismissing the claim. “It is just not possible to determine what the basis of the evidence is.”

Despite the lack of evidence, the case has cost Langley City financially.

At the B.C. Supreme Court, lawyers for the City submitted a draft bill of costs totalling $2,904.40. Brown ordered Oh to pay a lump sum of $2,000.

City administrator Francis Cheung said the City looked into recovering their court costs from Oh. Unfortunately, their lawyers advised that going through that process could actually cost as much – or more – than the money the City could recover. The City council has decided not to seek cost recovery.

Oh managed to pursue her claim despite having been declared a vexatious litigant. In 2012, a judge issued an order that Oh would not be allowed to launch legal actions without the permission of the court. Another, similar order was issued later regarding a lawyer Oh had sued.

A vexatious litigant is someone who habitually or persistently launches flimsy legal actions. They often represent themselves and tend to repeatedly appeal any rulings.

According to the provincial Ministry of the Attorney General, there is no registry of vexatious litigants.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Photo: Twitter@SurreyRCMP)
Surrey Mounties, pet owners, bracing for Halloween

Last year the Surrey RCMP received 147 fireworks complaints on Diwali and 121 on Halloween

(Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police investigating after another teen girl followed in Tsawwassen

Police say a man in a burgundy car approached teen girls on at least two, possibly three occasions

White Rock RCMP are searching for Richard John Lewis, who is wanted on warrants for assault and uttering threats. (RCMP handout)
White Rock RCMP searching for wanted man

Richard John Lewis is wanted on warrants for assault, uttering threats

partial graphic used in "Get Serious" campaign by Surrey business groups.
‘Get Serious’ message about COVID pushed by Surrey business groups fearing ‘economic shutdown’

‘Different social media messages will be sent out daily with significant messaging…’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

The B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch has issued a decision about the actions of an elementary school teacher in Langley. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley elementary teacher suspended for grabbing, shoving, yelling at kids

Roxann Rojas will lose her legal authority to teach for two weeks from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, 2020

Most Read